life lessons learned traveling, part iii

by Holly on January 19, 2011

in randomness,travel

I did not like France.

People were rude.

It downpoured for three days straight.

The Euro to dollar conversion was at an all-time high.

The only savior was the plethora of pain au chocolats, crepes with Nutella + banana and espresso I happily devoured for the 72 hours I stayed in this lovelorn capital.

And wine.

There was lots of wine consumed under the Eiffel Tower.

It’s a good thing I had some inappropriate, ridiculous drunken fun in London and illegally snuck into the most awesome Bayern Munich-Barcelona football (ahem, soccer) game in Germany before arriving in the City of Light, otherwise I would have really been pissed.

Bottom line: go to Paris with money and the guarantee of sunny skies.

Or don’t go at all.

That is what I learned in France.


Adam January 19, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I was only 10 when I went to Paris. My parents fought the entire time, my palette wasn’t mature enough to appreciate the cuisine, and I almost got my father arrested for shining a laser pointer across the Champs Elysee to the opposing hotel’s windows (although fun)… The best part of my trip was definitely hitting Dragons Elysee which is a Chinese restaurant (which i begged to go to in FRANCE) which had a floor that was on giant fish tank. I thought this was the coolest thing in the world, and still kind of do. You look like you enjoyed yourself a bit more ;) Anytime you are looking for a Euro travel buddy, give me a few weeks notice and I am there… backpack in tow.

carin January 19, 2011 at 11:26 pm

i want your hair. that’s all for tonight.

Katie January 19, 2011 at 11:26 pm

The stupid Eiffel Tower was closed when I was there. How’s that for luck. I saw the Mona Lisa in the Louvre though. Encased in glass. Total let-down.

And I wasn’t old enough to drink and enjoy the wine. But I did eat the shit out of those nutella crepes.

Erica D (Gratitouille) January 20, 2011 at 12:52 am

I went to France when I was a freshman in high school and learned an important lesson in Normandie:

Never, ever throw a glass bottle to your friend. Not only will she not catch it, but she will jump out of the way while it smashes onto the pavement and you get reprimanded for obvious idiocy. Also, don’t go on trips that include both your friends and their psycho ex boyfriends, who will repeatedly break into your hotel room and make you look like a no-good trouble-making slut.

Freshman aren’t allowed on that trip anymore. Oops?

Megan January 20, 2011 at 1:19 am

Ms. Holly. why you gotta hate. as your parisian partner I agree, Paris was rough. However 1) our room was amazing (jumping across the staircase to enter a door randomly placed in approximately 6 feet up a wall) and the stench of our sneakers from the death hike in Austria was terrible 2) the dreadful realization that the train back to London was 300 dollars and we only had 1.22 per day for nutella and wine (yes i think a phone call went out to pops for a nice money transfer for that one) but lets remember we got invited to the party of the century while roaming through the i might be tempted to say…we were at an all time high… love ya lady!

Jessica January 20, 2011 at 3:27 am

Umm, Jeany is determined that we’re meant to hit up the south of France when she visits. BIG MISTAKE OR WHAT?! Hahaha help me out!

And oooh yes now I’m really excited. Hitting up my first offish Barca FUTBOL game in Barcelona this Saturday! I’m so ready :)

Lauren January 20, 2011 at 5:42 am

I’ve never been to Paris but out of all of the “ideal cities” to visit, this one ranks low on my list. I think it’s a little overrated. Kind of like Hawaii. Don’t get me wrong, I would never turn down a trip to either, but it’s just not my first choice. I think there are soooooo many other little gems out there that need to be explored first.

Angela @ A Healthy Fit January 20, 2011 at 6:20 am

I’m planning to go to Paris this May. I hope the weather is nice!

Erica January 20, 2011 at 6:40 am

Interesting post. I’ve never been to France…but I don’t really understand the huge draw?

Dorothy January 20, 2011 at 7:13 am

My experience exactly. Paris is beautiful, but is best taken in with a basic understanding of the language OR a basic understanding of the subway system OR a large enough water bottle to fit an entire bottle of wine from the corner convenience store so you don’t look like a hobo drinking from a paper bag!
I’ll let you decide which of the three I had with me :)

brandi January 20, 2011 at 7:39 am

even after hearing bad stories, I WILL go someday to find out for myself.

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 20, 2011 at 8:07 am

I loved Paris – it was my favorite place to go when we were in Europe!

Evan Thomas January 20, 2011 at 8:21 am

Funnily enough, we’re going somewhere in June and it’s between London and Paris. I’ve been to Paris and didn’t like it so my vote is for London, but my mom wants to go to Paris so she’s trying to scare me by saying “You can’t eat anything in London! It’s all covered in flour and butter!” Her tricks won’t sway me.

Ashey @ 365things January 20, 2011 at 9:19 am

I wonder why they were rude?? They must not like Americans. I’d still love to visit though. We are big travelers and once we hit up most of the states here we’re gonna tackle outside the US and France will def be one of the places we visit. I’d be totally happy to live as a nomad if we didn’t have a kid!

Sami January 20, 2011 at 10:26 am

i absolutely ♥ your first photo. it should be some kind of advertisement :) gorgeous!

Corey @ the runner's cookie January 20, 2011 at 10:36 am

I think the bad weather anywhere in Europe is such a turn off…especially when you’re backpacking / staying in hostels. Things I loved about Paris: the Eiffel tower, wine, crepes on the street, amazing pasties, walking along the Seine river, art museums…but you’re right the people are rude!

Megan (Braise the Roof) January 20, 2011 at 10:48 am

Oh, Holly. No, no, no, what you NEED is me as your tour guide. :) Then you will definitely love Paris. I was there for 6 months on a very tight budget (through the coldest winter they’d had in yeeears) and still found places that I dream about to this very day.

Low January 20, 2011 at 10:58 am

You know as much as I desire a trip all across Europe I’ve never felt drawn to Paris. This only confirms those feelings.

Sarah (Sarah Learns) January 20, 2011 at 12:06 pm

i’ve never been to paris, but i would LOVE to go someday.

Kate (What Kate is Cooking) January 20, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I loved France… until my sister lost her passport and rail pass.

dana @ my little celebration January 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Because I’m stubborn, I still want to go. Rain or shine. Anything’s gotta be better than Topeka, KS, in the winter, right?

Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine January 20, 2011 at 1:33 pm

The only way for French people to be nice is if you speak to them in French. Or barter Abercrombie hoodies with them. Seriously, they’re obsessed. But really, is it possible to hate the pastry capitol of the world??

Estelle January 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Hi Holly. So sad you didn’t like France. Paris is a nice city but I agree with you Parisians are rude. Luckily, France is not only Paris, the countryside is beautiful and people are nice. If you have a chance, come to the south west, best food, landscape and people ever (well, I’m french, so maybe I have a lack of objectivity on that one ;)

Angharad January 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Well I will respectfully agree to disagree with you Ms. Holly. France is near the top of my list of favourite European countries (alongside Italy). Crepes, baguette, red wine, duck a l’orange, fashion, the south coast, I could go on. I adore it and lady, it’s northern Europe…it’s gonna rain.

Rant over. We are still lovers.

emily (a nutritionist eats) January 20, 2011 at 2:46 pm

I need to get out of this country….asap.

Teri [a foodie stays fit] January 20, 2011 at 7:15 pm

why was i not a wine drinker when I went to paris? or a coffee drinker? I think those two things are reason enough to go back immediately.

Pure2raw twins January 20, 2011 at 7:53 pm

I have been to France many years ago, and I did not like it. I guess I was too young to appreciate it. Although Lori went back this past year with her boyfriend and had a great time…lots of wine and chocolate helped her :)

K - Anywhere There's An Airport January 20, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Good to know! My mom is coming back over in March and we are planning another trip somewhere. Paris is on the discussion board. I will be sure to get money back guarantee from the Parisian weather service :)

Andrea@WellnessNotes January 20, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I think Paris is a “tricky” city. I’ve had some great and some not-so-great times there…

Michelle @ Living Learning Earning January 20, 2011 at 8:53 pm

That’s too bad you had a crummy experience. France was next on my list for a bigger trip – maybe I’ll reconsider. Do you have suggestions for somewhere else in Europe? I’ve only really traveled around Italy.

Mackenzie @ Whatever, Gatsby January 21, 2011 at 8:30 am

okay, so can you tell me your hair secret? i might be a little bit infatuated with your lovely lady locks.

holly, why you setting off my wanderlust so hardcore! le sigggggh!

Christine February 24, 2011 at 1:23 am

I just found your blog, I love it! You either love Paris or hate it. I think speaking the language helps sooooo much. I think the “rudeness” thing is more of a cultural misunderstanding than anything. Parisians (and the French) are generally nice, but you’re gonna run into some rude people everywhere you go…

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